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May has become a bittersweet month for me. I love seeing nature come back to life – flowers bloom, trees get new leaves, the hillsides so lush and green. May also reminds me that life is precious and not to be taken for granted.

Three years ago in May our five year old Olde English Bulldogge, Lola, progressed through the end stage of liver disease – “idiopathic canine hepatitis” is what the vets called it – a fancy way of saying its a terminal liver disease and we don’t know what is causing it. We fought her illness hard but it was a fight we were not meant to win – she passed away at the end of May. Those who don’t understand the bond that can form between people and their dogs may think that after three years I should be “over it”- but the end of May still comes with a sting for me.

Lola is the inspiration behind Scully Dogge Art. I started painting because of her and I continue to paint as a way to honour the incredible bond many of us have with our pets. They enrich our lives and they have so much to teach us about life and love. Here are just a few lessons of the many lessons my Lola taught me:

1. Be in the moment – get out of your head and take in the sights, smells and sounds of nature – there is so much beauty all around us – don’t miss it.
2. Never give up on your dreams – one day that squirrel will fall off the fence and you need to be ready!
3. Don’t let fear stand in your way – even though bears may seem way bigger than you, the right amount of confidence can make them flee up a tree.
4. Celebrate the people you love – run up and down the hallway and spin in circles every time you see them – even if they were only gone for a few minutes.
5. Farts are scary – ok … I may have already known this one 😉
6. Tackle large tasks from the bottom up – the best way to take down a dog that is much larger than you is to bite his ankles until he falls over – then pounce!
7. Be nice – show haters your big goofy smile whenever you get a chance – you will win some of them over.
8. Everyone loves a bum wiggle – it’s true – wiggle your butt and see what happens, I dare you.
9. Take care of your people – make sure they know about every wild animal in the neighbourhood, especially the ones that are out at 3 a.m.
10. There is no such thing as too many kisses.

There is so much we can learn from our dogs – as long as we take the time to be truly present. Love you forever, Lola. 💕